Charters without Borders

Today—just like in 1966 or 2011—it is pretty much universally recognized that the school a child attends has a huge impact on that child’s educational opportunities, but the truth is that, for most families, there just are not that many options for escaping racially isolated, high-poverty, poor-performing school districts. The struggles for school integration that grew out of the civil rights movement have resulted in inter-district integration plans in a handful of American cities, and they have delivered strong results for students. But these programs are few and far between, they have long waiting lists, and they are for the most part struggling to retain funding and popular support in a political climate that has largely forgotten about school integration. We should support the continuation and expansion of these programs, but we also need more approaches to inter-district integration.

Charter schools can and should be part of the solution to addressing inter-district segregation. Although charter school supporters and school integrationists may seem strange bedfellows, there is a growing subset of charter schools committed to school diversity. Furthermore, the charter school model comes with flexibility, funding, and political viability that could be huge assets in the fight for integrated schools.

Click view resource above to explore charter school diversity in full.